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Today In Charleston History: October 15

1764

Peter Timothy of the Gazette requested that all people who owed him money pay their debts as soon as possible. He pointed out that in thirty-three years he had never resorted to a summons or an attorney to collect a bill, but such measures may be forthcoming.

1863 – Civil War. H.L. Hunley sinks

Horace Hunley and seven crew members boarded the submarine, H.L. Hunley, at Adger’s Wharf. There was a small crowd assembled on the dock to watch a demonstration of the Hunley’s capabilities, a dress rehearsal for an actual attack.  They were to submerge beneath the Confederate ship Indian Chief and surface on the other side.

The crowd watched the Hunley cruise away from the dock, submerge but … it never resurfaced. The next day, the Charleston Daily Courier posted this notice:

Melancholy Occurrence – On Thursday morning an accident occurred to a small boat in Cooper River, containing eight persons, all of whom drowned.

General P.G.T. Beauregard ordered that the submarine be raised and then grounded. S far, the Hunley had killed thirteen Confederate volunteers and not a single Yankee. “It is more dangerous to those who use it than the enemy,” he said.

Due to weather conditions in Charleston harbor, it took more than a month for the recovery. It was 60-feet below the surface, its nose buried in silt. On Saturday, November 7, several divers, including Angus Smith who had worked on the first recovery, managed to wrap enough chains around the vessel to raise it. When the Hunley was finally on the dock at Mt. Pleasant, the grim task of removing the eight corpses was begun.

Beauregard wrote, “It was indescribably ghastly. The unfortunate men were contorted into all kinds of horrible attitudes.”

1866

Several different companies started horse-drawn street car service in Charleston.chas trolly cars

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